Media Morph: Slingbox

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What it is: The 10-inch brick-like box bears little resemblance to the flat black assortment perched atop most consumer TV sets. Inscribed with mini-mantras such as My DVR, My Videos and My Shows, the device advances the time-shift idea of DVRs. "Place-shifting" as it's been dubbed, allows TV viewers to access their home TVs by broadband-connected computer anywhere in the world (including the next room). Brothers Blake and Jason Krikorian, along with Bhupen Shah, founded Shift Media in 2004 after missing countless San Francisco Giants games while away on business gigs.

Price point: $249.99 at retail. Find it at CompUSA and Best Buy, and coming soon: direct purchase via Sling Media's Web site.

Sales: Sling won't say exactly, but a spokeswoman said the unit sold out at several retailers at launch and said production has already been upped to meet demand.

What they're saying about it: After its June 30 debut was followed by reviewers from Walt Mossberg at The Wall Street Journal to PC Magazine to bloggers piling on the praise, some grumbled at the slow roll out.

Marketing: A formal advertising and marketing campaign is planned, but now Sling is bent on getting the box to many, many reviewers-print, TV, Internet, and even some bloggers.

What's coming next: Software upgrades that will allow users to stream to their Mac computers, PDAs and some wireless phones.

Potential fly in the celebration soup: A few concerns have been raised about the possibility to send content, say from an East Coast friend to a West Coaster three hours before it airs, with fears those issues may inspire digital content ownership disputes in court. A spokeswoman said one advantage is the lack of legal problems with users viewing the content they paid for from service providers like cable, satellite, and TiVo.

Media Morph is a new weekly feature looking at how traditional media companies are making use of new technology from cell phones to VOD, podcasting and more to distribute content and how it’s working.

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